11/19/2019

Technology Replacing Medical Secretaries? (Video)



When I first started as a Unit Secretary in the early 2000s, I remember deciphering the doctor’s written order and then entering it into the computer.

I also remember walking from the nursing station to the COW (Computer On Wheels) and handwriting the new medication order on the patient’s MAR (Medication Administration Record).

But today, the nurses or the doctor enters the orders (unless it’s written on paper, then the Unit Secretary will enter the orders into the computer).

But is that really technology doing a job that we used to do or did it just get assigned to someone else?

So, how is technology changing the way you do our job? Let me tell you what I’m seeing.

We used to have to go in and email the discharge summary to the 
doctors (who were on a special list that wished to have a record of their patients' hospital visit sent to them), but after about a year, technology (at least that what they said) automatically emailed it to the doctors. It was on less thing for us to do, but it really didn't affect us, because we kept forgetting to go in and email it in the first place, because there were too many steps involved to do it. 

Also, I saw when I went to let lab work drawn at a national laboratory company, and they didn't even have a secretary! You have to sign in on a tablet and wait to be seen.

So, am I worried about there being no Unit Secretaries in the future? No. Because these 4 things below are facts.

  1. There's a shortage of people with previous experience or who actually wants to work as a Unit Secretary
  2. Hospitals are using CNAs/PCAs as secretaries for smaller units
  3. If there is an emergency (think Hurricane, mass shooting, terrorist attack, etc) and you have a large number of patients flooding the Emergency Room, are they going to be signing in on a tablet and sitting and waiting to be called? 
  4. The nurses won't have it or allow it. The hospital once brought in a consulting firm who suggested getting rid of the secretaries on the night shift. Let's just say that that didn't happen. 

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